Keeping Accurate Records

Vice-counties are the "standard geographical area for county-based recording”. They are based on a concept first used by Hewett Cottrell Watson Cybele Britannica: or British Plants and their geographical relations, published in 1852. Often referred to as “Watson's vice-counties” they were based on the ancient counties of Britain. Please send all your County Records to the County Recorder. You may also like to send them to one of the array of recording schemes, most providing internet and/or mobile phone access. These include, iRecord, ( the National Biodiversity Network ( and Local Record Centres with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Environmental Records Centre (CPERC in our area covering Huntingdonshire District and Peterborough.

The Biological Record Centre, has several Apps for some individual groups, see If you wish to concentrate on say butterflies, grasshoppers or ladybirds, these iRecord applications also have pictures to help you with identification. They also allow you to lock in some standard information, site name, type, even grid refence. This is especially useful for plants that don’t move and can make re-visiting the same place a lot easier.

Keeping accurate records is one of the most important functions of the Society. Whether or not you use one of the national schemes you are encouraged to send records to the county recorder for the group/groups you are interested in. A list of the contact points can be accessed by clicking here - list of County Recorders.


When sending records there are a few things to remember:

  • Note the date, time and place (a Landranger grid reference if possible) of the sighting. When giving locations, be as specific as possible without compromising the security of the species in question, or the privacy of the landowner whose property you saw it on;

  • A detailed description, activity if mobile and the weather conditions are all useful;

  • If you are uncertain about the identification take a photograph and send it to the most likely recorder;

  • They will help with identification and pass the records onto to the most appropriate scheme.

If you can't find the relevant category, pass them to Peter Walker.


The boundaries of the Society are largely coincident with the historic (1889) county of Huntingdonshire Vice County (VC)31 (Huntingdonshire District Council), the Soke of Peterborough, part of VC32 in Northamptonshire and the Parish of Thorney in Cambridgeshire, part VC29.